Skip to main content Skip to navigation

ET228: Analysing Spoken Discourse


What does spoken language contribute to the world? In this module we will investigate the importance of spoken interaction for creating relationships, establishing identity and consolidating community. We will explore the concept of language itself and trace how theories have incrementally increased current linguists' understanding. We will note the growing realisation of the interaction between context and meaning as well as the fundamental position of spoken discourse in the fabric of society. The module will provide you with skills of recording and transcribing what you hear around you in order to analyse natural every day conversation. From that analysis you will be able to gain insights into a range of issues such as power dynamics, identity work, politeness and discursive practices.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • trace the development of the theories which help understanding of spoken interaction
  • transcribe a stretch of spoken interaction with appropriate annotation for analysis
  • analyse a spoken interaction in terms of its context, participant framework, register and use of interactional resources
  • discuss the significance of features found in spoken data as regards the discursive practices they may demonstrate
  • critically analyse the usefulness of a range of theoretical approaches to the understanding of spoken language

Learning Experience


Core content will be presented in a blended manner, including lectures and videos with associated tasks.


We will meet in a weekly 1-hour small-group seminar to practice and apply course concepts.


Assignment based on the analysis of context and discursive practices in a short speech event (100%)

Preparatory Reading

  • Young, R.F. (2008). Language and interaction: An advanced resource book. Routledge.

Academic Staff

Tilly Harrison